Google Chrome's native ad-blocking begins on February 15, 2018

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 20, 2017
Google Chrome

Webmasters whose sites don't adhere to the Coalition for Better Ads standards for display advertisement will have advertisement blocked on affected sites in Google Chrome beginning February 15, 2018.

An email by the Google Web Tools Team is sent out to webmasters currently that informs them about the change provided that the site is registered on Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools).

Chrome will stop showing ads on SITENAME on Feb 15, 2018. Violating ad experiences detected on mobile.

Google systems have detected ad experiences on your site that may be highly annoying, misleading, or harmful to users. To protect your site’s visitors, on Feb 15, 2018 Google Chrome will stop showing all ads on mobile unless the issues are fixed.

Google announced plans to integrate an ad-blocker in Chrome in June 2017. The company designed the ad-blocker to block ads on sites that violate standards the coalition agreed on. What this means is that it will only block ads on sites that are in violation, and that it will block all ads on these sites. In turn, it won't block ads on sites that are not in violation.

Tip: The ad-blocking is already an option in development builds of Chrome.

The ad-blocking is Google's solution to content blocking that threatens the company's main source of revenue. The main idea is to block most of the annoyances to limit the impact that annoying ads have on a user's decision to install ad-blocking solutions.

The following ad types or formats are in violation, and sites that use at least one of the types or formats will have their ads disabled in Chrome on mobile: pop-up ads, prestitial ads, pages with ad-density higher than 30%, flashing animated ads, auto-playing video ads with sound, postitial ads with countdown, full-screen scrollover ads, large sticky ads.

Webmasters who added their sites to the Search Console can open the Ad Experience Report on it to see screenshots and videos of violations that Google found on the site. Webmasters may request a review after they have altered ad serving on affected sites to get the issue overturned and avoid having ads disabled on affected sites in Chrome.

Google gets more control over the ad industry thanks to the dominating position of the company's Chrome web browser. Other advertising companies need to comply, or have their ads disabled by the majority of Internet users.

Closing Words

As a user, I think it is long overdue that advertisement companies stop supporting annoying ad formats and types. Google, the largest advertisement company in the world, tries to address the threat to its very existence by implementing ad-blocking into Chrome.

The new system may slow down the rise of ad-blocking software and systems, but it does not go far enough in my opinion.

For instance, while video with sound is on the list of unwanted formats, video without sound is not. The latter may not be as annoying but it still is annoying and sucks up lots of bandwidth and CPU.

Google does not address other issues for using content blocking at all on top of that. There is the abuse of advertisement to distribute malware, and the tracking of users. Both of these valid reasons for using content-blocking are not addressed at all.

There is still not a single solution out there that offers "ethical" ad serving.

Now You: What's your take on Google's decision?

Google Chrome's native ad-blocking begins on February 15, 2018
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Google Chrome's native ad-blocking begins on February 15, 2018
Webmasters whose sites don't adhere to the Coalition for Better Ads standards for display advertisement will have advertisement blocked on affected sites in Google Chrome beginning February 15, 2018.
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  1. Kubrick said on January 10, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    I find this anti-google waffle extremely amusing.
    Are we forced to install and use chrome as a browser..?.
    This rambling nonsense of chrome was installed without my permission..well the option as always has been to uninstall and banish it from your computer for good.

    the figures speak for themselves.
    the most popular browser on our planet is….? got it ,its chrome .and are these figures a lie or a fact.?
    for years chrome has been the dominant browser and the figures simply cannot be wrong for such a length of time.

    Google are not forcing users to use their browser but a large percentage of people simply are and have been for a substantial amount of time.

    1. Paul's Dad. said on January 19, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      “Figures simply cannot be wrong for such a length of time”.
      That’s why Internet Explorer 6 was the best browser for a decade, no competition whatsoever. Nothing wrong done by it. At all.

  2. RottenScoundrel said on December 22, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Google the good guys and add-blocking eh?

    I have yet to see Google do anything that was not first and foremost in their own best interests and let the client-be-damned.

    @Sophie: Those halcyon days of Google and “Do no Evil,” are long gone. Their motto has been softened down to “Do no harm” and I suspect that means, “do no harm [to Google].”

    I suspect, come 2018, we will see a lot about Google and ad-blocking. Watch for Youtube ads being tightly integrated into the videos so ad-blockers like uBlock/AdBlockPlus et al will no longer keep the videos in the clear.

    Just guessing as they are dropping their YouTube-App on Fire-TV come Jan 1st. :)

  3. Adam said on December 21, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    I think this is great. Opera and Brave already have built-in adblockers. An adblocker on Chrome is going to force everybody to do the same. Microsoft, Apple and Mozilla. If they don’t Chrome market share will go to 90%. Most people browse without adblockers. They don’t even know what an adblocker is. So this new cleaner and faster Chrome will kill competition. When they learn what an adblocker is, they will go to the real thing = ublock origin.

  4. John said on December 21, 2017 at 3:10 am

    Martin, just out of curiosity, why didn’t you posted about the release of Chrome 63 to the stable channel?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 21, 2017 at 5:00 am

      You mean the December 4, 2017 release? I don’t cover all Chrome releases. Was there something particularly interesting in that release?

      1. John said on December 21, 2017 at 5:10 am

        Yup, this one.

        As far I know, there were some changes:

        Mainly the new bookmarks manager and the new chrome://flags page (which you already made an article about).

        I thought you always covered every single release, that’s why I asked. :p

  5. Mike said on December 21, 2017 at 2:30 am

    I think this is a good idea, but also too little, too late for me. I pretty much won’t use a browser without uBlock Origin installed for privacy and security purposes. On mobile, the situation is a bit more complex (on Android) because uBlock is only available on Firefox, but Firefox on Android is incredibly slow and from my personal experience is slower than Chrome w/ads. Therefore, I have switched over to Brave on mobile and have convinced nearly all of my friends & family to do the same. While I think this is a good move on Google’s part in an effort to crack down/eliminate the abusive ads that lock up user’s phones on mobile, for me personally better options are already available and I see no reason to switch back to Chrome at this point

    1. Richard Allen said on December 22, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      Thank You for the reminder on the mobile version of the Brave browser. For some reason, because Eich is involved, I had it in my head that it was a FF fork. Wrong. Whoops. So far I have to say that I am seriously impressed.

      I have to agree that mobile FF is slow compared to pretty much every Chromium browser that I’ve used and over the years I’ve used a bunch of different browsers. I think the mobile version of FF has gotten better recently with page load times and I wonder how it does with a new flagship phone with more a powerful CPU. With my overclocked Nexus 5x it’s not bad but Chrome with my hosts file leaves it in the dust.

      On the desktop I mostly use FF but by necessity I’ve mostly used third-party Chromium browsers on Android for the performance. One thing I love about Brave is its full access to All of the chrome://flags because there are some very useful performance, security and privacy flags currently available with Chromium v63. And…. I’m a Huge fan of the Chromium menu button on Android. Thanks again! Yippee ki-yay, mother******s! LoL

      1. Mike said on December 23, 2017 at 4:44 pm

        Yeah, Brave on Android has been a godsend for me. On desktop is it still very much in beta, including a number of bugs that are quite noticeable. I would not recommend using it on desktop/laptop environments, where Firefox (and to some extent Opera) remain better options depending on the platform (OS X or Windows). I use Brave as my default Android phone and tablet browser, because it includes a number of security improvements on top of Chromium that I believe are essential in a modern browser.

        Firefox with uBlock Origin would be great to use, but even on my newer Android phone, it renders pages significantly slower than Brave. Mozilla developers have stated that FF 59 will be the first version on Android that brings Quantum changes to the browser and that mobile will be a “focus” in 2018, but until I see it, Brave is where I will be. Especially annoying on FF on Android is the janky page scrolling performance.

  6. Paul(us) said on December 20, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    What am I still not understanding or is this maybe the first (large) step from the ($) Google company to be the only adblocker, in their browser so they are controlling what I have (or allowed) to see when I am browsing?

    What I am not reading (or understanding wright) or that the built-in ad blocker for years, when I have switched on, is conflicting with uBlock Origin or any other running adblocker aside?

    1.) Can I switch off the Google built-in adblocker?
    2.) Can an external adblocker still be installed?
    3.) are the internal – and external ad-blocker work together in harmony?
    4.) Is the internal adblocker slowing down the browser function and even more slowing down the browse function when an external adblocker is also activated?

    1. Richard Allen said on December 21, 2017 at 4:56 am

      Thank you , I have had the exact same questions for a few months now. I’ve had Chrome and Chrome Dev installed for some time now to keep up with development and use them both just enough to see how everything is working. In Chrome Dev I haven’t seen the “Ads” option in the settings since last July, recently I thought it was in May but I just looked at the time stamp on a screenshot I have. Anyway, to get it to show up back then I had to wipe the profile on my install, the “Ads” option seemed to be a server side implementation. As soon as I signed into Chrome Sync the Ads option went away. I played around with it for almost a week and tried numerous times to use sync and Every single time the option went away. One of the extensions being synced was uBlock Origin. Actually, come to think of it, I also tried syncing without my extensions and the Ads option would still disappear. During that week I ended up manually importing the bookmark, favicon and login files into the profile folder.

      How the ad block function is implemented in Chrome is a Huge question in my mind and the odds of me using Chrome without uBO is absolutely zero.

      1. Richard Allen said on December 21, 2017 at 5:09 am

        I should have mentioned that the Ads function, as far as I could tell, was totally and completely ineffective and why they made it visible in the options is beyond me.

  7. Richard Allen said on December 20, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    My take on Chrome’s ad-block roll out is that it is too little, too late. It’s better than nothing but it’s not going to be enough to prevent malware infections. Without there being a limit on what scripts can do in ads it would be foolish to disable your content blocker. It has never made any sense to me that publishers have little if any control of third-party javascript and what it is capable of doing on their website.

    Depending on the source you use, Google in the last year earned about 80% of all US ad revenue. According to PageFair, adblock usage in 2016 increased 30%. I would call that significant. Current US adblock usage, according to Marketing Land, is 40% for computers and 15% for mobile, so it’s easy to see that Google has a vested interest in stemming the tide.

    It’s pretty obvious that content blockers are disrupting the ad ecosystem enough to make all of the major players very nervous. Web developers and standards bodies need to come up with a solution and I personally believe the sooner that ad block usage climbs to maybe in the 60% range and only until then, will the W3C finally get off their backsides and make some long overdue changes. Another year of 30% growth in adblock usage would put the total at 52%. That has to be very disconcerting for a lot of businesses or at least it should be.

    On a side note. I have not seen Chrome’s ad blocker since May in Chrome Dev.

    1. Sophie said on December 20, 2017 at 6:53 pm

      Personally, I hope the global Ad-block usage does not get too high……….or at least high enough that it has repercussions. While the number of Ad block users are (relatively) low, it can be ignored (for the most part), on the part of publishers.

      1. Richard Allen said on December 20, 2017 at 7:15 pm

        I hear you, I just don’t think any changes to the web standards will be made until the percentage gets higher and without disruption there is no incentive for change. I would like to be able to whitelist websites without freaking out and being totally paranoid. I have personally cleaned way too many computers that had 300-1000 malware objects to be able to just nonchalantly blunder around the interwebs naked. I think it’s been over ten years since I’ve seen anything on my computers but still.

  8. James T. said on December 20, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Hi I know this off-topic but the Adblock Plus Addon Developer Wladmir Palent is taking a break from development
    http :// palant (.) de/2017/12/20/taking-a-break-from-adblock-plus-development

  9. crambie said on December 20, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    People worrying about Google deciding what’s a good and bad ad don’t see the bigger, worse picture. I think the whole idea is to do just enough to put people off using ad blocker extensions so google can then track you better. Ad blockers haven’t won, they’ve got in the way.

    1. insanelyapple said on December 20, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      I think the more important than fact that Google plans for blocking ads that doesn’t meet the elusive “standards”, is how company will play against adblocking extensions: will let them live as now, start “information campaign” aka “why you use an adblocking extension, Chrome does that by default, look how cool is that – now you can safely remove that pesky ublock/adblock” and/or start to disable these extensions by “accident”, “security reasons” or with honest premeditation – admitting they don’t like the competition, it’s their browser and they do whatever they like.

    2. Klaas Vaak said on December 20, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      Anybody who has kept a little bit abreast of what Google is about knows what the company’s overall objective is: control information & map out the world population’s activities in minute detail. Give this fact, any ad blocker “kindly” provided by Google is circumspect, and one should use an extra ad blocker or an alternative.

      My default browser is Opera, which has had a built-in ad blocker for years, I have it switched on, but I also have uBlock Origin running – double whammy plus extra privacy/security.

    3. Sophie said on December 20, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Yes….they figure that if “they” can “control” how ad-blockers work, then it won’t get in the way of their business model.

      Spot on.

  10. Sophie said on December 20, 2017 at 10:46 am

    I don’t agree with this at all. I don’t see how it is the responsibility of GOOGLE!!! of all people, to dictate how other people’s adverts should appear or even not appear.

    What anyone’s views are on advertising on the web are a separate kind of conversation. I believe that this is an area where people should educate themselves if they wish to take any and all avoiding action with regards to adverts….

    …..Its not for one of the most powerful companies on the planet to to it, and I am wondering what their true motivation is?

    1. Sophie said on December 20, 2017 at 10:48 am

      Also, while slightly off topic here………..I still remain astounded at how many people use Chrome in the first place.

      Just use a Chrome variant, without all the privacy violations, if you want something that looks and acts like Chrome.

      Talk about “Do no Evil”…… yes, maybe when you were students and thinking about startups in your garage. Now you are the embodiment…………

      1. Jasper said on December 22, 2017 at 11:12 am

        @ crambie & Sophie OK it seems you don’t have any evidence. You’re just regurgitating things without knowing anything. Chrome itself doesn’t track you. Just the Google Sites and services..but that applies to all Webbrowsers when you use Google services. But then..there are ad&tracking Blockers. No big deal. Chrome doesn’t track you. You people are hysterical.

      2. poe said on December 20, 2017 at 8:30 pm

        >>Just use a Chrome variant

        lol are you sure Vivaldi or Opera don’t track you? Firefox is even doing it now.
        Do as Weilan said: If you want to prevent get tracked, stay off the internet

      3. Weilan said on December 20, 2017 at 7:42 pm

        @Sophie that’s what you get for using Windows, Mac OS, Android, iPhone and using the internet. You have to accept that you will be tracked, your information sold for money and told what to do and what not to do. I have sort of accepted this. But if I ever want to stay a bit safer and more free, I will wipe my disk, install Linux, use some Linux-exclusive browser and do what I want (and what Linux compatibility with Windows software allows me to). But I can’t at this point because I’m playing too many games.

      4. crambie said on December 20, 2017 at 5:54 pm

        While you can turn off a lot of things that help them track you, you can’t turn them all off. There’s plenty of sources that say what they’ll still transmit, it’s hardly secret or news to anyone. Of course you might not care, that’s your choice. But pretending it doesn’t happen and needing sources, implying it’s make believe, is silly.

      5. Jasper said on December 20, 2017 at 5:26 pm

        So how does Chrome infringe more privacy violations compared to Firefox and Opera? What does Chrome do? Do you have any sources with facts?

      6. Sophie said on December 20, 2017 at 11:02 am

        Also, I don’t want Google deciding what’s acceptable to me and what isn’t…………..

        you see this everywhere you look these days….other people, bodies, departments, software, governments…….. all deciding what is ok for us, which only serves to achieve one thing…….. loss of our own control over what we do or don’t desire.

  11. happy browsing said on December 20, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Google talking about “better ads” not about the invasion on our privacy…..The only way for better web is adguard dns via simple dnscrypt ,ublock origin in advanced mode whith many extra filters for privacy from ,blocking of 3rd party cookies in the browser and some extra addons depending the browser you choose…We are not buying googles BS

  12. Anonymous said on December 20, 2017 at 9:13 am

    ” Google, the largest advertisement company in the world, tries to address the threat to its very existence by implementing ad-blocking into Chrome. ”

    It’s impressive because it means adblockers are actually winning. Back in the day I was unsure about spreading them too loudly because if too many people blocked ads, companies would react and make it even more difficult.

    They still have one awful option in their arsenal that we wouldn’t be able to block, but it is impractical for them and hard to scale. I’d rather not corner them so it becomes their new best thing to do though.

  13. Anonymous said on December 20, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Google using his power and influence on the web (with Chrome and other services) to dictate which sites are acceptable for ads, in their eyes. Hmm…

    This seems a little too much, doesn’t? I feel like they will got in trouble for this…

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